Reviewed by Jade Daly
La Dispute’s latest release Rooms Of The House is – in its own way – a complex tale of both life and loss. Overall the album reads like a movie, from the song titles that bare an uncanny resemblance to scene headings, to the lyrics that tell their own sad and lonely story.
Opening track Hudsonville MI 1956 immediately reels us in, demanding our attention with the rough and ready sound that is mirrored throughout the album as a whole. The vocals stand out as raw and uncut, an attribute that most definitely stems from the bands earlier work. It’s clear that the band have tried to stay within the boundaries of their signature sound, whilst successfully stepping outside the box in regards to the concept that grows within the album.
First Reactions After Falling Through The Ice starts to kick things up a gear, with a slightly faster tempo and a full and boisterous sound to boot, whilst Scenes From Highways 1981-2009 breaks free of the walls and boundaries of the home and takes us out onto the open road. The song is a hard-hitting mind bender – bringing to light some of the questions that quiver on the edge of our lips but never quite cross that ever important threshold; ‘Did you ever think you’d end up here? All those nights you were driving alone?’
35 slows things down, before we’re thrown head first into the swirling madness that is Stay Happy There. The song title acts as an open contradiction to the themes that run throughout both the album and the song; reeling off the stages of the breakdown of a relationship, which makes the content both raw and relatable.
Extraordinary Dinner Party is a personal favorite; the opening riff stands out immediately, it’s both catchy and upbeat. You can feel the change it represents, and it’s the perfect gateway into the albums closing track; Objects In Space. The final track is more an open letter to no one, it describes the objects, memories and feelings that remain after the break down of a relationship;
‘All these things that push and pull me through history/To places I once was, places I might have gone/Places I ended up going.‘
The closing track is truly beautiful, it’s nothing less than four minutes of brutal honesty. It ties up any loose ends and leaves nothing but a sensual and satisfied silence as the record draws to a close. In my opinion this album is La Disputes best work to date, and I have absolutely no intentions of changing the record any time soon.